Study Finds Seniors Overspending On Medicare D Plans.

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Making the right moves in choosing the best solutions for your health benefits requires a plan and strategy that is proven. Like the game of chess, each move creates a different set of challenges, decisions and obstacles to overcome. One wrong move can produce unexpected results where you may find yourself in checkmate! When it comes to health benefits, you need a friend that you can trust to coach you through the game that many individuals and businesses must conquer. Call upon Benefits Unlimited, Inc to be your friend when you are ready to win the game.
Source: benefitsunlimitedinc.com

Video: Retirement Living Spotlight on Medicare D

Maine Writer: Medicare Voucher

“If the Medicare Voucher program proposed is anything like the Medicare Plan D for drugs, it will be a disaster.” The reason Jacques says this is because the Plan D started at $6/month for every company and the plans were identical. Now, the plans cost from $30-60/month and have many options, like no deductible, no co-pays, no doughnut hole, … To get the cheapest plan, he needs to go to the Medicare website every November and see which is the cheapest for him and his wife, given their drug mix. Every year, a new company comes up with a plan cheaper that all the others, sometimes by a factor of two to three. Each year there’s another “lowest” plan; he never knows which will be the best plan from one year to the next. He changed plans three times in four years. And sometimes, the best one for Jacques is not the best one for his wife. The drug companies hope beneficiaries won’t do their homework and will stick with the same plan for another year, without realizing that the price changed. It’s a mess, but, he says, still manageable and he only needs to contact one pharmacy with his new plan information. “If I had to go through this exercise every year for my Medicare and supplemental plan, I would go crazy, picking the cheapest one every year, and come January, I have to contact all our doctors, clinics, hospitals, with our new plan information, not to mention the problems resulting with illnesses that overlap multiple plans. This would be a nightmare.” In fact, Jacques, who has a PhD in astrophysics, is absolutely correct.
Source: blogspot.com

The AARP Medicare D Doughnut Hole Calculator: How Does it Work?

Those that want to estimate if they may hit the Medicare Part D drug coverage gap may find it useful to use the AARP’s doughnut hole calculation tool. This can help an individual work out if they may fall into the gap and also gives useful advice on how to save money and stretch budgeting on prescription drugs. What can the AARP Medicare D doughnut hole calculator do and how does it work?
Source: suite101.com

Why Are You Paying More For Medicare D Than Your Friend?

This entry was posted in Health Insurance and tagged FAQ, fort bend, Houston, Indiana, Insurance, insurance agent, IRMAA, katy, Medicare, medicare d, Medicare D cost, Medicare D premium, Medicare Part D, Michigan, Prescription drug, richmond, rosenberg, sugar land, Texas, United States, United States Department of Health and Human Services, Washington D.C, Wharton. Bookmark the permalink.
Source: wordpress.com

Choosing the BEST Medicare D Plan · Village Apothecary

There will be two sessions, one in Saugerties at the Senior Citizen Center on Thursday, October 13th from 5:30-7:30pm. The second will be in Woodstock at Woodstock Town Hall on Friday, October 14th from 5:30-7:30pm. Refreshments will be served.
Source: saugertiesrx.com

Medicare D and the Internet

I recently helped my parents enroll in their new Medicare prescription drug plans using the Medicare.gov website. It was a good-news, bad-news experience. Overall, the good news is that the Medicare.gov website provides very thorough information, is mostly easy to use, and includes efficient functionality. The bad news is that successfully enrolling online requires the guiding hand of a practiced internet user, includes several unanticipated offline data-gathering moments, and probably also includes a few false starts. Here is my mom’s story. Bad news: Before starting, a list of necessary information would have saved several phone calls and re-starts: name, address, social security number, date of eligibility for Medicare’s Hospital Part A and Medical Part B, list of regular drugs and dosages, and individual drug costs, current prescription coverage, preferred pharmacy (if important), and decision on option to deduct plan costs from monthly Social Security check. Good news: First step, to search for and compare plans. I plugged in my mom’s south Florida zip code, which later revealed there are 44 plans available in her area, and her current coverage, “none of the above” — a blessing in disguise as we avoided comparing possible plans to the specifics of any current plan. We were also lucky that, because of her relatively simple drug requirements, she fell into the category easiest to maneuver. There was no need to worry about gaps in coverage beyond certain expenditures. Bad news: I did not know how to answer the polite, but fuzzy Medicare question asking “Did you get a letter from either Medicare or the Social Security Agency that said you are either eligible for or qualified for “extra help” paying for your Medicare prescription drug care costs.” Huh? My mom wasn’t sure, and one very long telephone call to the toll free Medicare number eventually interpreted “extra help” as jargon for Medicaid eligibility. Why not just say that? Good news/bad news: We clicked to “choose a plan” and then “Enter medications”, two steps which seem entirely reasonable in retrospect, but were presented in succession as one of several options where we could easily have tripped up and had to backtrack to get our desired information. Good news: Plugging in the drugs. The process includes excellent, transparent functionality to plug in drugs (including a search-by-alphabet aid for cases where the exact name doesn’t quite match the one on the bottle), the dosage (including a drop-down menu to adjust the dosage, although one dosage that my mom takes wasn’t an exact match), and a query asking if you’ll accept the generic version. (Note to self: Glitch – phone physician to see if generic is acceptable and if it affects ultimate costs.) Excellent news: Comparing coverage plans. (Fair warning: don’t be sidetracked. We chose to bypass the chance to select a specific pharmacy and see what Medicare had to offer. Right choice! The pharmacies are not all current on the website, and you can cross-check for your favorite one later. The point here is to get a cost comparison of the plans.) Eureka! We were quickly offered 44 plans, listed according to estimated annual costs. Clicking within individual plans reveals a goldmine of details of annual costs, including deductibles, monthly co-pays per drug (as price points of different drugs vary wildly among plans, revealing why individually-tailored plan selection is critical), mail-order options, special notes, and many more things. You can also click to compare specifics of up to 3 plans at a time. Bad news: Finding cooperating pharmacies can be frustrating and requires a leap of faith. The website’s pharmacy list wasn’t current, and I was derailed from the internet to the telephone. I called my mom’s favorite pharmacy, talked to her favorite pharmacist, and learned that they expected to cooperate with the plan we liked. Ya gotta love small town south Florida; I know I would not have such quick or trustworthy service where I live. Good news: Enroll. Just plug in the usual information, which included a rather puzzling and unexplained bonus question of whether or not you lived in a nursing home. Total time elapsed: Internet time about 30 minutes. Other time included calls to parents for information and decisions: 30 minutes; call to Medicare: 45 minutes; call to pharmacist: 3 tries and 10 minutes; call to physician re generic drug possibility: did not try. Total cost savings: My mom was self-paying for drugs at a cost of about $3000 per year. Under her new Medicare D plan, it will cost her less than one third of that. Epilog: My mom received her new Medicare D prescription drug enrollment card in the mail. Her pharmacist said the pharmacy does cooperate with her plan. She has not yet tried to get any prescriptions filled. Reality check from findings from the Pew Internet Project: • As of September, 2005, 30% of people age 65 years and over use the internet. • As of 2002, 39% of internet users have helped another person with online medical issues • As of November, 2004, 54% of internet users have gone to a government website to look for information. • In August, 2003, more internet users had visited government websites for information (66%), statistics or documents (41%), and recreation or tourist information (34%), than health or safety issues (28%).
Source: pewinternet.org

Medicare D and the Penn Transplant Patient

Medicare D is purchased as a stand-alone prescription? plan. This is important to discuss because the patients of Penn Transplant Institute are prescribed costly life-sustaining drugs, and the amount of drugs prescribed is typically larger than many other patient populations. These factors can contribute to large out-of-pocket expenditures experienced annually by patients.Medicare D is a stand-alone prescription drug plan available to anyone entitled to benefits under Medicare part A, or for those who are currently enrolled in Medicare part B. Some highlights of Medicare D include:
Source: blogspot.com

Here's what role healthcare reform, Medicare is having in the Wisconsin Senate …

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

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Source: usahealthcarenews.com

Video: Second Presidential Debate 2012- Obama and Romney on Immigration

Romney on social security and Medicare

Where

Sen. Feingold: "Sneak attack coming" on Medicare, Social Security

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

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Source: americablog.com

Video: Dim Outlook For Social Security, Medicare

Social Security Payments To Rise But Medicare Premiums May Offset Boost

The Wall Street Journal: Benefits To Get A Small Bump More than 56 million Social Security beneficiaries will see their checks increase 1.7 percent starting in January, under an annual cost-of-living adjustment that is tied to how much certain prices climb in July through September compared with a year earlier. Eight million people who receive Supplemental Security Income — mainly the poor and disabled — will get the boost starting in December, the agency said. This means the average monthly Social Security check will rise by $21 to $1,261, the agency said. However, the increase may be partially or completely offset by increases in Medicare premiums — the portion of a retiree’s check that the government deducts to cover health-care expenses. The premiums for 2013 haven’t been announced yet (Mitchell, 10/16).
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

LIVESTREAM: Community Forum on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid With Tim Kaine and George Allen | MyFDL

Our Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid systems are vital to the economic security of Virginians. One in every six Virginians receives Social Security, one in seven receives Medicare benefits, and one in eight receives Medicaid benefits. That’s why Social Security Works is hosting a facilitated-discussion with Virginians and those who want to represent them about the future of these programs.
Source: firedoglake.com

Social Security, Medicare and More: What Are the Dates to Remember?

While you may think by the time you reach your 50s you’ve passed most of life’s major milestones, think again. From 55 on, there are a number of age-related financial milestones that you can’t afford to ignore no matter how young you feel. Miss them and you’ll not only miss some of the perks that come with getting older, you may also be penalized for your lack of attention.
Source: schwab.com

McMahon Favors Medicare/Medicaid and Social Security Cuts

If Linda McMahon’s “Balanced Budget” Plan Was Enacted This Year, It Would Potentially Mandate Hundreds of Billions of Dollars in Medicare/Medicaid and Social Security Cuts.  Linda McMahon proclaims support for a so-called Balanced Budget Amendment, which is a constitutional amendment mandating that federal outlays not exceed total tax receipts.  This year, the federal budget deficit is $1.5 trillion.  Linda McMahon has said on the campaign trail that she opposes any tax increases to balance the budget and that she would exempt Defense spending ($714 billion), Homeland Security ($41 billion), and Veterans Benefits ($162 billion) from her proposed spending cuts in order to reach her goal.  Including debt service ($196 billion), this leaves just $917 billion left, meaning Congress would have to cut 57% of the rest of government spending—including Medicare, Medicaid (currently $736 billion) and Social Security ($749 billion).  Even if you shut down funding for highways, ended small business and education loans, and cut the entire Department of Justice, this plan would still serious consequences for the entitlement programs, if enacted.  [Washington Post, 7/24/10; Congressional Research Service Summary, H.J.Res78, 3/2/10; Linda McMahon Editorial Board Interview (Hartford Courant), 7/20/10; OMB U.S. Budget, Mid-Session Review, 8/25/09; Congressional Research Service, “Mandatory spending Since 1962,” 9/15/10; LM at Conservative Women’s Luncheon PT 2, 9/23/1; LM Remarks at Gun Enthusiasts Meeting, 9/22/10; LM Common Sense CT Interview, 8/30/10; LM at Taste of Mystic, 9/10/10; Linda McMahon, Chaz & AJ Show FM 99.1, 8/3/10]
Source: ctnews.com

NYT Decides to Start Blaming Medicare and Social Security for Bad Weather

President Obama moved the spending on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan from a supplementary authorization and put them into the regular military budget so much of the decline in military spending in the budget is due to ending the wars. More broadly, as our defense spending transitions from Cold War systems to modern conflicts we’ll need less spending. From the CBO: “The growth in DoD’s costs would be less than the growth of the economy, so costs would decline as a share of gross domestic product (GDP). Spending for DoD’s base budget was 3.5 percent of GDP in 2010 and would decline to 3.0 percent of GDP in 2017 and to 2.5 percent in 2030.” http://www.cbo.gov/publication/43428 The real issue is that Romney/Ryan are arbitrarily fixated on spending 4% of GDP on the military without any clear justification.
Source: cepr.net

Linda McMahon: I Won’t Offer Specifics On Social Security And Medicare

When asked during the fourth and final debate between McMahon and Democratic U.S. Rep. Chris Murphy about what she would do to shore up the two benefits, McMahon acknowledged “there are several things to think about,” but said she has purposely “not offered specifics when I’m on the campaign trail because I’d get demagogued.”
Source: talkingpointsmemo.com

Most Democrats don’t realize Obama wants to cut social security, Medicare, and Medicaid

By the way, social security and Medicare are referred to as “entitlements” because you are entitled to this money.  Yes, this is actually your money, funds that you and your employer have been contributing at a rate of 15.3% of your payroll earnings over the past 40 to 50 years of your working adult life, to be held in trust by the Social Security Administration.  Of course, the purpose of social security and Medicare is to provide a modest, meager pension income and major medical insurance coverage following your retirement, after slaving away for most of your entire life so you could have just a little bit of security in the few remaining years of your life.
Source: patch.com

Daily Kos: Older Americans and Independent voters “Beware of the Republican Promises”

What can Democrats do to respond and reclaim the issues of Social Security and Medicare?  The best way is to reinforce what Joe Biden alluded to during his debate with Paul Ryan once again, “Who you going to trust.”  Give the inspiring story of FDR and these programs and how the Democratic Party championed them.  Show how these programs have helped millions and how they are worth saving and not being turned into a voucher program or a retirement subject to Wall Street.  Give them a reason to trust your message over the Republican Tea Party.  
Source: dailykos.com

A Blaze of Bright Blue: Voter’s Guides For Pro

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

MORE DIRTY TRICKS FROM YOUR SOCIALIST/MARXIST   PRESIDENT AND HIS NASTY LITTLE ADMINISTRATION HACKS by SS&SSTime to vote! Most Americans are well informed on president, governor, senator and sometimes congressional races but when it comes to judges, attorney generals and commissioners many of us have little information other than what is printed in the voters pamphlet.  That’s where voter’s guides are invaluable, if an organization that you strongly support is endorsing a candidate, often that’s valuable information to voters.  If your pro reproductive rights for women, check out these guides to make sure you don’t vote for a candidate likely to restrict women’s access to reproductive services.  Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest, Women’s Health Voter Guide Wa. Washington Progressive Voter’s Guide, (Fuse, Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest, Sierra Club, etc) AAUW Voters Guide (American Association of University Women) National Naral Pro-Choice Washington Voters Guide  Romney/Ryan 2012 is not endorsed by any pro-choice group.
Source: blogspot.com

Video: Blue Cross: A First Choice for Medicare

Blue America Welcomes Alan Lowenthal

Is Alan too principled and too wedded to progressive solutions to be able to work with Republicans? Well, maybe not Bachmann and Akin but Senator Lowenthal has been one of the most effective legislators in California history in bringing both sides together for the sake of ordinary families. He authored legislation which increased student success and graduation rates at all 113 of California’s Community Colleges, and linked the educational community in Long Beach by aligning common core standards from kindergarten to college. This was done with overwhelming bipartisan support. And as a founding member of the Bipartisan Caucus in the State Assembly, Alan also took the lead in authoring the legislation needed to create a new redistricting process which was more representative of the needs of the people, not the political self-interest of the politicians; the end result being the independent Citizen Redistricting Commission.
Source: crooksandliars.com

2013 Medicare Advantage Plans — Best Rated Florida Plans from AARP UnitedHealth, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Humana and Coventry

Now that open enrollment for 2013 has begun, seniors are looking for the best rated 2013  Medicare Advantage plans from large insurers like Blue Cross Blue Shield, AARP, Humana, Cigna and many others. Rates for the plans are now available.  While the rates are now available on the Medic are.gov website, rate updates are still pending for the Florida State insurance website, so Florida seniors that are searching for low cost Medicare Advantage plans will need to be careful that the rates that they see quoted are for 2013.
Source: medicaremedigaprates.com

A Bogus Mass Mailing about Medicare That Just Won’t Die

The income threshold that triggers higher amounts was originally calculated so that it rose with the rate of inflation. But the recent health reform law froze the income thresholds which means more seniors will have to pay the higher premiums. Initially, about five percent of all Medicare beneficiaries were paying higher premiums each year based on a sliding scale. This year, the income-related premium ranges from about $140 per month to $320 and affects individuals with incomes greater than $85,000 and families with incomes over $170,000. By the end of the decade about 10 percent of seniors will pay a higher income-related premium.
Source: preparedpatientforum.org

Health Premiums Could Wipe Out Social Security Boost; Medicare Enrollment Begins

Miami Herald: Marketing Medical Insurance To Individuals This time of year is a hectic, marketing-intensive period for Florida Blue and other insurers that sell Medicare policies. During the federal program’s annual election period, this year from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7, seniors can switch to a new underwriter of Medicare policies for their 2013 coverage. So, insurers are anxiously courting the Medicare population to keep current policyholders and add new ones…That kind of consumer marketing may become much more common in the under-65 market as healthcare reform unfolds, especially the individual mandate to obtain medical insurance or pay a penalty, starting in 2014. So next year, visitor traffic at the Florida Blue Centers in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and other locations around the state may increase substantially to include not only Medicare beneficiaries but also younger people shopping for individual health insurance (Seemuth, 10/14).
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

FW: Silver Cross Physicians Join New Blue Medicare Advantage (HMO) Plan

Learn how to protect yourself from some of the expenses Medicare doesn’t cover. Attend a free Our All-in-One Package: Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug (MAPD) program in the Silver Cross Hospital Conference Center, Pavilion A, 1890 Silver Cross Blvd., New Lenox.  One-hour sessions will be held on Oct. 26 and Nov. 1, 16 and 28 at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.  Each seminar features an informative presentation followed by a question and answer session with a BCBSIL Product Specialist.  A sales person will present information and applications. Free valet parking and shuttle service will be available.  Refreshments will be served.  Register to attend by calling BCBSIL at 1-877-632-5920, TTY/TDD 711, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m., local time, 7 days a week.  For accommodation of persons with special needs at a sales meeting, call 1-877-632-5920, TTY/TDD 711. Friends and family members welcome.
Source: patch.com

Independence Blue Cross Offers 2013 Medicare Advantage Plan With $0 Monthly Premium

Independence Blue Cross is a leading health insurer in southeastern Pennsylvania. With our affiliates, we have 3.1 million members nationwide. For nearly 75 years, we have been enhancing the health and wellness of the people and communities we serve by delivering innovative and competitively priced health care products and services; pioneering new ways to reward doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers for coordinated, quality care; and supporting programs and events that promote wellness. To learn more about how we’re changing the game, visit www.ibx.com. Connect with us on Facebook at ibx.com/facebook and on Twitter at @ibx. Independence Blue Cross is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
Source: globenewswire.com

NoMoreClipboard Launches Enhanced Blue Button® Capability

“We decided to launch a ‘Blue Button on steroids’ to give our users choice,” said Jeff Donnell, president of NoMoreClipboard. “While the Blue Button effort embraced by organizations like the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Medicare enables veterans and Medicare beneficiaries to download health information, it does so in file formats which fall short of the interoperability standards required for certified electronic health record vendors. We added CCD, CCR and PHR extract formats to our Blue Button module, so patients can download a file that could be shared with an HIE, an electronic health record system, or another healthcare IT application that embraces standards-based interoperability protocols.”
Source: emrandehrnews.com

Democrats Cut Seniors’ Medicare to Fund Their Spending Sprees

 “So when Peter Orszag and I talk about the importance of using comparative-effectiveness studies (9) as a way of reining in costs, that’s not an attempt to micromanage the doctor-patient relationship. It is an attempt to say to patients, you know what, we’ve looked at some objective studies out here, people who know about this stuff, concluding that the blue pill, which costs half as much as the red pill, is just as effective, and you might want to go ahead and get the blue one. And if a provider is pushing the red one on you, then you should at least ask some important questions.” 
Source: nrcc.org

Democurmudgeon: New Medicare Facts Trash Thompson/Ryan plans!!!

The simple question reporters never ask: “If Medicare is going broke; is too expensive now; and doesn’t pay out enough to retain health care providers, how can reducing government premiums save the program, without costing more for seniors and shedding even more providers?” Magic? A bidding war between providers to take on very high risk seniors? Sadly, the huge number of conservative low information voters will “all be surprised” when they finally realize what Medicare reform really means.
Source: blogspot.com

Medicare will prod users to switch from low

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Old people read alone... by Ed YourdonThe announcement comes on the eve of Medicare open enrollment, which runs from Monday through Dec. 7. During that eight-week period, people can enroll in different Medicare Advantage and prescription-drug plans.When people turn 65 years old, they can sign up for traditional Medicare coverage or opt for those additional coverage plans that might better suit their health-care needs.
Source: telcoretirees.org

Video: Medicare advantage plans 2011 Information on the basics of Medicare Advantage Plans

Medicare Enrollment Help Session Wednesday

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Source: coudynews.com

White House projects $11 billion Medicare cut due to deficit law

While continuing to fight against Medicare pay cuts to ODs as a result of sequestration, the AOA is warning lawmakers that, if enacted, these cuts would only compound an already dangerous situation. Without corrective action, Medicare payments to ODs and other physicians are scheduled to be slashed by nearly 30 percent starting Jan. 1, 2013. And adding insult to injury, Medicare physician payments have been nearly frozen for a decade, while the cost of caring for patients has increased by more than 20 percent.
Source: newsfromaoa.org

McMahon ad promotes Medicare inaccuracy

The Kaiser Family Foundation found that while Medicare Advantage was offered by President George W. Bush as a way to save money over the fee-for-service traditional Medicare, the plans actually cost some 14 percent more for each patient. The subsidies will be reduced over time starting this year to 2 percent, but quality plans will be rewarded with bonuses and by 2014, all of them will be required to spend at least 85 percent on direct care and not overhead.
Source: nhregister.com

Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage Changes for 2013

The Affordable Care Act includes provisions that, over time, are reducing the cost of prescription drugs for people who fall into the coverage gap, or “donut hole.” In 2011 and 2012, the discount for brand name drugs was 50%; in 2013 and 2014, it will increase to 52.5%, and will grow after that until it reaches 75% in 2020.
Source: wordpress.com

Medicare confusing, but don’t put off enrolling

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Source: fredericksburg.com

Issa Pressing Ahead In Effort To Obtain HHS Materials On Medicare Advantage

The Hill: Study Shows 33 Percent Spending Increase In Federal Poverty Programs A new study by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service finds that federal spending on anti-poverty programs has increased 33 percent since 2008, when President Obama was elected. The study, commissioned by Senate Budget Committee ranking member Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), included traditional welfare, food stamps, Medicaid, Pell grants and 80 other federal programs but excluded veterans assistance programs. … The CRS study shows that broadly defined, anti-poverty spending was higher than Social Security or Medicare or base defense spending in 2011 (Wasson, 10/18).
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

Medicare Advantage Plan payment shenanigans, an end run around Obamacare cuts

OACT has estimated that the MA Quality Bonus Payment Demonstration will cost $8.35 billion over 10 years, most of which will be paid to 3-star and 3.5-star plans. About $5.34 billion of OACT’s cost estimate is attributed to quality bonus payments more generous than those prescribed in PPACA, specifically to (1) higher bonuses for 4-star and 5-star plans, (2) new bonuses for 3-star and 3.5-star plans, (3) applying bonuses to plans’ entire blended benchmarks, and (4) allowing plans’ benchmarks to exceed their pre-PPACA levels. Most of the remaining projected demonstration spending stems from higher MA enrollment because the bonuses enable MA plans to offer beneficiaries more benefits or lower premiums. Taken together, the expanded bonuses and higher MA enrollment mainly benefit average performing plans—those receiving 3-star and 3.5-star ratings. In addition, OACT estimated that the demonstration will offset more than one-third of the reduction in MA payments projected to occur under PPACA during the demonstration years. The largest annual offset will occur in 2012—71 percent—followed by 32 percent in 2013 and 16 percent in 2014.
Source: quinnscommentary.com

Medicare open enrollment: Will Obamacare end Medicare Advantage?

Should you be worried that Medicare Advantage plans will economize by reducing your benefits? “The plans are required to provide all Medicare benefits, so there’s no way they can cut them,” Gold explains. That includes the free preventive services added to Medicare by the Affordable Care Act. And Advantage plans that include a drug benefit are closing the doughnut hole just the same as stand-alone Part D drug plans. The only area where plans can even consider cutting back are for optional services such as dental and vision benefits, but the plan finder on Medicare.gov still features plenty of plans that have these bonus features.
Source: consumerreports.org

Navigating Medicare's Open Enrollment Period

Medicare beneficiaries who are happy with their plans do not need to do anything, if they don’t want to change. But it is still a good idea to check options, Ms. Metcalf advises, to make sure a version of Medicare is the best one in terms of cost and coverage. If, for instance, you have the original version of Medicare and pay extra for prescription drug coverage (so-called Part D coverage), you may want to make sure important medications you need are still covered under your plan, to avoid having to pay more for them.
Source: nytimes.com

Information for Medicare Beneficiaries

This week, open enrollment began for Medicare and runs through December 7, 2012. It is important for current Medicare beneficiaries to review their plans on an annual basis to ensure satisfaction with their current coverage. Some of the optional changes to your coverage you may wish to make during this period, which would take effect in 2013, are:
Source: texasgopvote.com

Medicare open enrollment: What’s the best Medigap policy?

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

"The single best augury is to fight for one's country." ~ Homer (800 BC - 700 BC), The Iliad. by eyewashdesign: A. GoldenThe difficulty for consumers is that the nature of Medigap makes it a lot harder to shop for than Medicare Advantage. Here’s why. Medicare Advantage plans are regulated and overseen on a national level. Medicare routinely collects all kinds of information on them about customer satisfaction and quality of care. In addition, the premium of a specific Medicare Advantage plan is the same for each customer. As a result, it’s possible (as I explained yesterday) to go to Medicare.gov and compare Medicare Advantage plans in detail, including quality ratings and price. It’s also why we can publish rankings of Medicare Advantage HMOs and PPOs through our partnership with the National Committee on Quality Assurance.
Source: consumerreports.org

Video: Medicare Supplemental Insurance – What’s the Best Plan for Me?

Report: Most top Medicare drug plans hiking premiums

President Barack Obama’s health care law does not appear to be the cause of the increases. The law actually is improving the prescription benefit by gradually closing a coverage gap called the “doughnut hole,” which catches people with high drug costs. Instead, the price hikes appear to be driven by market dynamics, and some insurers are introducing new low-premium options to gain a competitive advantage on plans that are raising their prices.
Source: sltrib.com

2013 Medicare Advantage Plans — Best Rated Florida Plans from AARP UnitedHealth, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Humana and Coventry

Now that open enrollment for 2013 has begun, seniors are looking for the best rated 2013  Medicare Advantage plans from large insurers like Blue Cross Blue Shield, AARP, Humana, Cigna and many others. Rates for the plans are now available.  While the rates are now available on the Medic are.gov website, rate updates are still pending for the Florida State insurance website, so Florida seniors that are searching for low cost Medicare Advantage plans will need to be careful that the rates that they see quoted are for 2013.
Source: medicaremedigaprates.com

Navigating Medicare's Open Enrollment Period

Medicare beneficiaries who are happy with their plans do not need to do anything, if they don’t want to change. But it is still a good idea to check options, Ms. Metcalf advises, to make sure a version of Medicare is the best one in terms of cost and coverage. If, for instance, you have the original version of Medicare and pay extra for prescription drug coverage (so-called Part D coverage), you may want to make sure important medications you need are still covered under your plan, to avoid having to pay more for them.
Source: nytimes.com

VP Candidates Spar Over Medicare Plan Specifics

Politico Pro: What Biden And Ryan Said, And What They Meant What Ryan said: “If you reform these programs for my generation, people 54 and below, you can guarantee they don’t change for people in or near retirement, which is precisely what Mitt Romney and I are proposing.” Why he said it: Romney and Ryan need seniors to feel protected from any changes to the Medicare benefits they’re already enjoying. Romney also needs to preserve the power of his other charge: That unlike his plan, President Barack Obama does cut Medicare for current seniors. What he didn’t say: If future retirees start switching to private plans … some analysts have warned that seniors in traditional Medicare will have trouble finding doctors. … What Biden said: “We cut the cost of Medicare. We stopped overpaying insurance companies, doctors and hospitals. The AMA supported what we did. AARP endorsed what we did.” Why he said it: The best defense against Ryan’s attacks on Obama’s Medicare cuts is to point out that two respected nationwide groups … supported the health care law. What he didn’t say: AARP has asked the Obama administration to stop using its name to promote the law (Nather, 10/11).
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

Kaiser Permanente’s Medicare Plans Earn Top NCQA Health Insurance Rankings for 2012

About Kaiser Permanente Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, our mission is to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve more than 9 million members in nine states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to: www.kp.org/newscenter.
Source: kp.org

Medicare Enrollment Arrives – Tips On Medicare Plans

Take stock of your health needs for the coming year. Go back to the drawing board and think through what you really need from your Medicare plan. What kinds of care do you need? Do you anticipate any procedures or tests? Which doctors do you want to see and how often? What prescriptions do you take? What can you afford to pay? Make a list.
Source: allsup.com

Deforming Medicare into a Competitive Bidding System (part 1)

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

FEHBP requires that all plans cover the same medical services. In spite of this, some plans offer more dental and vision coverage than others. However, the primary “choice” is whether to pay now or pay later. Those who choose plans with lower premiums (taken out of biweekly or monthly pay-checks) face higher deductibles and co-payments when they actually need medical care. Often this results in higher overall cost to those who choose what looks like a less-expensive plan. Seeing physicians “out of network” costs more in a “basic”plan than in a “standard” or “high option” plan. We know from many studies that higher co-payments lead low- and even middle-income people to postpone needed medical care. Since FEHBP premiums are independent of the employee’s income, lower-wage workers are likely to choose a “basic” plan and thus face the barrier of higher costs when they have to seek care. And many, of course, will not be able to afford to pay for any plan.
Source: correntewire.com

Video: Blue Shield of California (HMO) presentation — Benefit plan design changes for 2011

2013 Medicare Advantage Plans — Best Rated Florida Plans from AARP UnitedHealth, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Humana and Coventry

Now that open enrollment for 2013 has begun, seniors are looking for the best rated 2013  Medicare Advantage plans from large insurers like Blue Cross Blue Shield, AARP, Humana, Cigna and many others. Rates for the plans are now available.  While the rates are now available on the Medic are.gov website, rate updates are still pending for the Florida State insurance website, so Florida seniors that are searching for low cost Medicare Advantage plans will need to be careful that the rates that they see quoted are for 2013.
Source: medicaremedigaprates.com

Important! Medicare Advantage rip

Prior to 2004, the selective enrollment of healthier seniors by private plans – what we call “old cherry-picking” – was the major source of excess payments. We conservatively estimate that this old cherry-picking has added $41 billion to Medicare’s costs since 1985. Medicare adopted a new risk-adjustment scheme in 2004 based on 70 medical diagnoses (“hierarchical condition categories”), but this scheme has not curbed, and may have increased, private plans’ ability to game Medicare’s payment system, albeit with a new strategy: now, plans seek to selectively enroll patients who have mild versions of the medical conditions that determine payment. This “new cherry-picking” has added $122.5 billion to Medicare’s costs since 2004.
Source: pnhp.org

Medicare open enrollment: What’s the best Medigap policy?

The difficulty for consumers is that the nature of Medigap makes it a lot harder to shop for than Medicare Advantage. Here’s why. Medicare Advantage plans are regulated and overseen on a national level. Medicare routinely collects all kinds of information on them about customer satisfaction and quality of care. In addition, the premium of a specific Medicare Advantage plan is the same for each customer. As a result, it’s possible (as I explained yesterday) to go to Medicare.gov and compare Medicare Advantage plans in detail, including quality ratings and price. It’s also why we can publish rankings of Medicare Advantage HMOs and PPOs through our partnership with the National Committee on Quality Assurance.
Source: consumerreports.org

Seniors Can Change Medicare Part D, Enrollment Runs Through Dec 7

Mount Kisco Public Library, 100 Main St., Mount Kisco (914) 269-7764, Wednesdays, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Warner Library, 121 N. Broadway, Tarrytown (914) 269-7765, Wednesdays, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Grinton I. Will Library, 1500 Central Park Ave., Yonkers (914) 269-7138, Tuesdays, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.; Thursdays, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. John C. Hart Memorial Library, 1130 Main St., Shrub Oak (914) 269-7137, Tuesdays, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. The Field Library, 4 Nelson Ave., Peekskill, (914) 265-5286, Thursdays, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. New Rochelle Public Library, 1 Library Plaza, New Rochelle, (914) 265-5287, Fridays, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Greenburgh Public Library, 300 Tarrytown Road, Elmsford, (914) 269-7129, Mondays, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Port Chester-Rye Brook Public Library, 1 Haseco Ave., Port Chester (914) 269-7131, Thursdays, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Seniors can also find help at the federal government’s Medicare site at www.medicare.gov or its helpline at (800) 633-4227.
Source: newrochelletalk.com

Gerber Medicare Supplement Insurance

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Gerber Medicare Supplement quotes are readily available in addition to a lot of other Medicare Supplemental Insurance corporations. We’ll shop the rates for you personally and assist you to find the most effective deal.
Source: theushealth.com

Video: Gerber Life Medicare Supplement

Nike Air Diamond Turf II In choosing a Medicare supplement service provider45swaa

Big providers offer specific ideas from which a beneficiary can select. The best way to get a good deal of consider a budget is to identify the correct services needed at present in addition, on what plans they are provided,Nike Total Air Foamposite Max Current Blue Home ow. In that way, the beneficiary may avoid paying extra for expert services they dont need at present,Nike Zoom Hyperfuse 2011 Bored with your same old. For example, a Gerber Medicare Supplement may be providing Plans M and Deborah, while the beneficiary at this time needs Plan A because no skilled nursing service is needed.
Source: nicexiiblog.com

Gerber Medicare Supplement

[…] What will happen if I decide to call or email you about a quote? I will reply promptly with the information you requested and your information will be shared with no one. If you decide that this is not the program for you, I will have no hard feelings and will thank you for the opportunity.Source: newjerseyinsuranceplans.com […]
Source: newjerseyinsuranceplans.com

Gerber Medicare Supplement Insurance

If you’re in a program that the IRS considers abusive, listed, or similar to, you’ve got to tell on yourself to the IRS. If you don’t file properly a specific form, the fines are horrendous. I get phone calls every week from business owners getting $100,000, $200,000, $300,000 for making a small contribution to a retirement plan with life insurance in it, a 419 plan, a welfare benefit plan, a section 79 plan, captive insurance, things like that. Well, not all these plans are abusive. The IRS is looking at these, and if you’re in one of these, you’ve got to report on yourself or else face a severe IRS fine. I welcome your call at (516) 938-5007. My name is Lance Wallach. You may want to Google me.
Source: scoop.it

Settlement Eases Rules Regarding Medicare Home Health Patients

Judith A. Stein, director of the nonprofit Center for Medicare Advocacy and a lawyer for the beneficiaries, said the proposed settlement could help people with chronic conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injury. It could also provide relief for families and caregivers who often find themselves stretched financially and personally by the need to provide care.
Source: hcafnews.com

Annual Enrollment for Medicare Advantage (Part C) & Part D: October 15 – December 7 

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

"Every citizen should be a soldier. This was the case with the Greeks and Romans, and must be that of every free state." ` Thomas Jefferson. by eyewashdesign: A. GoldenEven beneficiaries who were satisfied with their 2012 plans need to review their plan options for 2013.  Part D and MA plans may have made changes to their coverage, provider networks and other plan features.[3] Plan information for 2013 will be available on the Medicare Plan Finder at www.medicare.gov.[4]  For the computer-savvy, the Medicare Plan Finder is an excellent plan comparison tool, allowing users to enter all their drugs and drug dosages, compare up to three plans at a time, save their drug information for later use, and actually enroll in a plan on-line.  This is the best – if not only – way to truly compare the many plans available to choose from.  People who cannot use the Plan Finder themselves may contact 1-800-Medicare, or their State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP), for assistance with evaluating, selecting, and enrolling in a Part D plan.
Source: medicareadvocacy.org

Video: What Is Medicare Part-C and Part-D?

Medicare Open Enrollment for 2013

Premiums are rising. A report from Avalere Health, a prominent healthcare advisory company, advises that some Medicare prescription drug plans will see premiums rise by as much as 23%. The report goes on to state that the jump can be attributed not to the Affordable Care Act, but market dynamics. Regardless of the reason, this turn of events underlines the wisdom in taking the opportunity to review your Medicare plans during the open enrollment period; a better rate could give you a lot more room to move, in terms of your day-to-day finances.
Source: billlosey.com

An explanation of Medicare

Part D is coverage for prescription drugs, and like Part C, the program is administered by private insurance companies. Part D plans have their own list of covered medicines, with a tiered pricing system. This means that some drugs, such as generics, may be in the lowest tier and have the lowest copayment. Drugs in the highest tiers would have the highest copayment. If you sign up for a Part D plan when you are first eligible you avoid paying a penalty. A penalty would be assessed if you don’t join when you were first eligible and you don’t have other drug coverage or don’t receive “Extra Help”. Beneficiaries with limited income and assets may qualify for “Extra Help” to help pay for prescription drugs. This program is administered through the Social Security program and Medicare. For more information, please visit www.SSA.gov/prescriptionhelp/.
Source: utu.org

Page not found – The Robeson Journal

The page you are looking for no longer exists. Perhaps you can return back to the site’s homepage and see if you can find what you are looking for. Or, you can try finding it with the information below.
Source: therobesonjournal.com

Social Security COLA Could Be Offset by Higher Medicare Premiums: IRI

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

TWO YEARS OF RUIN by SS&SSIRI President and CEO Cathy Weatherford said in the same statement that “this reflects the growing trend of health-related expenses eating into retirement income,” The cost of health care, she said, “is a real risk that can jeopardize one’s retirement security. Now more than ever, consumers need to be aware of how quickly health-related expenditures can decimate retirement savings and develop a plan with a financial advisor that includes a strategy to cover basic living expenses as well as medical expenditures.”
Source: advisorone.com

Video: Medicare Chief Actuary: Spiking Part B Premiums

Medicare Home Health: Medicare Supplement Insurance

For all others, the standard Medicare Part B monthly premium will be $115.40 in 2011, which is a 4.4% increase over the 2010 premium. The Medicare Part B premium is increasing in 2011 due to possible increases in Part B costs. If your income is above $85,000 (single) or $170,000 (married couple), then your Medicare Part B premium may be higher than $115.40 per month. For additional details, see our FAQ titled: “2011 Part B Premium Amounts for Persons with Higher Income Levels”.
Source: blogspot.com

Medicare confusing, but don’t put off enrolling

active adults bodybuilding Bright Eating Cathy Dyson Chris Margand Chuck Hashek Delise Dickard Dr. Delise Dickard Eddie’s World Eddie’s World column Ed Jones elder law Elizabeth McMaster Fit After 50 functional fitness Gone With the Wind happiness Inspired Aging Inspired Aging column Jennifer Motl Legal Ease Legal Ease column Live Well Medicaid Medicare mental health Neda McGuire New Horizons New Horizons column nutrition Orange County Phyllis Palestri power outages Rappahannock Area Agency on Aging salads self-help Senior Moments column Skydive Orange skydiving Steve Watkins storms therapist Valerie Hopson-Bell Virginia Insurance Counseling and Assistance Program Yoga
Source: fredericksburg.com

Social Security Payments To Rise But Medicare Premiums May Offset Boost

The Wall Street Journal: Benefits To Get A Small Bump More than 56 million Social Security beneficiaries will see their checks increase 1.7 percent starting in January, under an annual cost-of-living adjustment that is tied to how much certain prices climb in July through September compared with a year earlier. Eight million people who receive Supplemental Security Income — mainly the poor and disabled — will get the boost starting in December, the agency said. This means the average monthly Social Security check will rise by $21 to $1,261, the agency said. However, the increase may be partially or completely offset by increases in Medicare premiums — the portion of a retiree’s check that the government deducts to cover health-care expenses. The premiums for 2013 haven’t been announced yet (Mitchell, 10/16).
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

Summit MediGap: Medicare Premiums

File Individual tax return                       File joint tax return               You pay $85,000 or less                                       $170,000 or less                   $99.90 $85,000 to $107,000                              $170,000 to $214,000            $139.90 $107,000 to $160,000                            $214,000 to $320,000            $199.80 $160,000 to $214,000                            $320,000 to $428,000            $259.70
Source: blogspot.com

Information on Medicare part b premiums for 2013

The standard Medicare Part B premium is determined by a formula contained in the 1997 Balanced Budget Act, which set the premium at 25 percent of total program costs.  The remaining 75 percent of program costs are financed through general revenues. The Medicare Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA) requires higher-income beneficiaries to pay a higher percentage of program costs, resulting in multiple tiers of premiums based on income. The 2013 and 2014 Part B premiums haven’t been decided yet. Also note: There has been lots of confusion about Medicare Part B premium rates in recent years, because Medicare beneficiaries who receive Social Security were protected from premium increases in 2010 and 2011 under what is called the “hold harmless” provision, which freezes Medicare Part B premiums if there is no Social Security cost-of-living adjustment.
Source: medicareplansstcharles.com

Report: Premium Support Would Boost Costs for Dallas County Medicare Beneficiaries

Like the Romney-Ryan plan, the model assumes Medicare payments would be tied to the cost of the second-lowest private insurance plan locally. Seniors could select a private plan or a public plan based on traditional Medicare. If their choices cost more than the government payment, they would pay the balance.
Source: dmagazine.com

Social Security raise next year may be tiny

I get SS or disability. I would rather be working any day if I could. Its not free as all seem to think. I have $130.00 to come out before I get mine so I’m paying back in. If people don’t want the money and gripe about it then send it back in or just don’t sign up for it they won’t bug you about it. The last cola it went out when gas went up meds up, food, our insurance it was gone . Insurance keeps going up I don’t want Obamacare and that is a bad idea, I want to be able to choose who I can see and not who they tell me I have too. Dave you must be loaded and don’t need the money to live, Some people do. I didn’t plan on getting hurt. My husband didn’t plan on it either or end up with lung cancer but it happen. I’m glad its there. People who run there mouth and say people don’t deserve it. Then I will pray for you why? Because I never hope I ever get to the point that I don’t like people that much. We are far far from rich but just to get by each month and love each other is enough. No don’t get food stamps or medical card. We worked construction for years so thats why we can’t get it. but if you get welfare and don’t care not to work you get food stamps and a medical card good doctors the top of the line. Must be nice huh Good nigh be blessed with what you have and other people too. If you don’t want it sent it to me. For real I will gladly take it as a gift.
Source: nbcnews.com

Study: Privatized Medicare Would Increase Premiums

Like the Romney-Ryan plan, government health insurance payments for individual seniors would be tied to the cost of the second-lowest private insurance plan in their geographical area, or traditional Medicare, whichever is less expensive. Seniors could pick a private plan or a new public program modeled on traditional Medicare. But if their pick costs more than the government payment, they would have to pay the difference themselves.
Source: sacobserver.com

Medicare Part B Premiums, Deductibles, Copays and Coinsurance Explained

Medicare Part B premium:  The monthly premium amount you pay for Medicare Part B depends on your annual income.  For 2012, these premiums range from $99.90 to $319.70 per month.  (PLEASE NOTE:  there are cost penalties for signing up late to Medicare Part B.)  To find out more about your personal Part B premium cost, contact Social Security.
Source: medicareecompare.com